Location privacy has come to the fore due to increasingly widespread practices that involve the storage and analysis of location data. Traffic monitoring, friend finding services, tracking and tracing of mobile communication devices, contextual or behavioural advertising, and location based services all thrive on capturing and mining location data. Location privacy has received much attention from both legal and technical experts.
There is, however, a good deal of confusion as to how location privacy is understood, how it relates to notions like contextual privacy, anonymity, unlinkability, autonomy and control. Within the legal domain there is confusion about the difference between privacy and data protection, controversy about which data must be qualified as personal data and about the extent to which consent, purpose limitation and adequate feedback are at stake in particular situations. Within the technical domain we lack a grounded conceptual and methodological foundation for the design and analysis of location privacy technologies; existing solutions and evaluation methods are ad-hoc and can neither be assessed outside a narrow context, nor compared to each other.
This project aims to provide a framework for lawyers and computer scientists to (1) negotiate a shared understanding of what is at stake and to (2) examine to what extent location privacy technologies can integrate the more ambiguous and dynamic nature of legal and ethical notions of contextual location privacy.
Furthermore, we will develop original contributions to both law and computer science.